By Jeff Morris,
A memorial and a plaque now serve as a reminder of how life can change in a split second. Brent and Monique Goddard, who lost their son, Ian, at the corner of Franktown Road and Munster Road just west of Richmond, know that feeling all too well.
“Something has to be done,” Ms. Goddard said. “This intersection is treacherous, and it’s because of the way people drive. We see it all the time. We just don’t want to see another family to go through what we are going through.”
The Goddards live just south of the intersection. Cars and other vehicles ignore the flashing yellow light on Franktown Road and race by Munster Road. Most are travelling well in excess of the 80 kmh speed limit.
“If you drive at the speed limit through this intersection, you are endangering yourself,” Mr. Goddard said. “Drivers will tailgate behind you, and they will pass illegally at the intersection.”
Ian Goddard, a Grade 9 student at South Carleton High School, lost his life when he and his friend Jayden Corrigan were struck at the intersection while riding their dirt bikes April 18. Jayden was seriously injured, while Ian lost his life.
“A four-way stop at that intersection would have saved Ian’s life,” Ms. Goddard said. “Looking at how and where they were hit, they probably still would have been hit, but it wouldn’t have been as bad and Ian would still be alive.”
While the Goddards want a four-way stop at the intersection, it is not that simple. The intersection does not meet the city’s criteria for stop signs at the intersection.
“The criteria for a four-way stop is that no more than 65 per cent of the traffic is on one road while no less than 35 per cent of the traffic is on the other,” explained Ward 21 Councillor Scott Moffatt. “The problem is that 89 per cent of the traffic is on Franktown Road, and only 11 per cent of the traffic is on Munster Road.”
Because of the fatal accident, city staff is currently doing a report on the intersection. Moffatt said he is frustrated with what is going on at the corner. He has spent time with the Goddards, and he has gone to witness the dangerous driving that occurs on the road.
“There is no doubt that it’s a dangerous intersection,” Moffatt said. “Even when I was there to see it, cars are speeding, and they are even illegally passing cars that are turning at that intersection.”
Mr. Goddard, who grew up along Munster Road, says the traffic has gotten progressively worse through the years.
“People from Franktown, Carleton Place, Smiths Falls and all over use the road to go through Richmond and then into the city,” he said. “They drive aggressively. The speed limit is 80. I was going 98 on this road and people were flying by me. It’s at the point where if you do slow down to close to the speed limit, you are putting yourself in danger because people on this road are so impatient and aggressive. I warned Ian several times when he was with me about how dangerous this intersection was.”
Mr. Goddard said that several other intersections have four-way stops and that Franktown and Munster should be looked at.
“I grew up in this area, and I remember that it wasn’t that many years ago that Franktown and Dwyer Hill Roads, or Followfield and Huntley didn’t have four-way stops,” he said.
Moffatt has been receiving emails on the intersection, and is fully aware of the dangers.
“We are waiting for the report from the city,” he said. “Something has to be done at that intersection, we just don’t know exactly what the best thing to do is until we have the report.”
The Goddards spend a lot of time at the intersection, as there is a beautiful memorial for their son just below the intersection on the southeast corner of the intersection. The memorial includes a plaque, interlocked patio stones, a place to sit, and momentos of their son. The memorial was created in the corner of the farm field at the intersection, with permission of the landowner, by a local landscaper.
“We are here every day,” Ms. Goddard said. “We miss Ian so much. We just put lights here because we know that his friends come in the evening sometimes. A lot of the things here were left by his friends.
“We are very thankful for the incredible support we have received from the community, and for things like this memorial. None of this was our idea. People have just done wonderful and kind things for us and to remember Ian.”
Ian was killed at the intersection April 18, which was the final day of the delayed March Break vacation. Because of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, students did not return to school after the holiday.
“Even though the students were not at the school the next day, there were a lot of kids that did not sign on for online learning,” Ms. Goddard said. “A lot of the students at South Carleton were very upset and heartbroken over this. It’s great that there is a place like (the memorial) where they can come and remember Ian.”
Local businessman Russ Arthurs was Ian’s hockey coach for several years and said he is dearly missed by everyone in the local hockey community.
“He was full of energy,” Arthurs said. “He had this spark that was infectious. He enjoyed hockey and being part of the team, and he was just go-go-go all the time. He was a great kid to coach.”